The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 13, 2014

Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Another ‘P’ joins likes of Palm Springs and Palm Beach

PITTSBURG, Kan. — While Palm Springs or Palm Beach may come to mind first for those considering where to spend their golden years, it turns out there’s another city that starts with a “P” that has been recognized as a great place to retire.

I’m talking about Pittsburg.

I became a resident at 3 months old when my schoolteacher parents moved here from Liberty, Mo., in search of a smaller, quieter town in which to raise a family.

We were centrally located between Mom’s family in Duquesne, Mo., and Dad’s family in Erie, meaning we were within 35 minutes of a sleepover at either grandmother’s house.

I’m guessing that at that time, retirement for them — or me — was not at the forefront of their minds.

But last week, messages began flooding my inbox that said Pittsburg has been recognized as a great place to do just that — in fact, it’s No. 1 in Kansas, according to the real estate research blog Movoto.

Its 2014 list of the 10 best places to retire in Kansas was the result of a study in which Movoto staff members looked at cities with a population of at least 10,000.

They ranked those cities according to cost of living, crime rates, weather, ease of travel and amenities per capita. Pittsburg was at the top.

Following Pittsburg in the ranking of 36 cities were, in order: Newton, Arkansas City, Haysville, El Dorado, Wichita, Leawood, Derby, Parsons and Overland Park.

In the plus column for the city I’ve called home for nearly 44 years, researchers cited its libraries, including Axe Library at Pittsburg State University and the Pittsburg Public Library. The latter has in recent years begun offering a diverse roster of programs, speakers, workshops, book discussion groups, audio books and book sales, all of which I’ve observed seniors taking an interest in.

The study also noted restaurants that have prices and menus appealing to an older clientele, the number and diversity of health care providers, and plenty of easily accessible places to shop, including Meadowbrook Mall — which for at least a few decades also has provided a place for seniors to walk laps during inclement weather — as positives.

The report cited arts and entertainment opportunities as being plentiful. It is hard to pick up a calendar and not find a concert, play or other performance listed at PSU, Pittsburg High School or Memorial Auditorium, and the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department has monthly gatherings and outings for the senior crowd.

And finally, researchers scored Pittsburg’s weather — meaning air quality and the number of mild days — as a plus.

The report somewhat missed the mark in noting that from Pittsburg, seniors have access to an “international airport” just 27 miles away. While Joplin, Mo., isn’t offering international flights just yet that I know of, it does provide ease in catching a domestic flight to go visit family or take a vacation.

It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that my mom and the parents of my former classmates now fit the category of “retired.” Perhaps it’s because they don’t seem like it. They’re still active — not just in leisure pursuits but in volunteerism, in helping to raise grandchildren, and as members of civic and charitable organizations that contribute a great deal to our quality of life here in Pittsburg.

Maybe, just maybe, Pittsburg is playing a role in keeping them young.

FOLLOW ANDRA BRYAN STEFANONI on Facebook at facebook.com/andrajournalist and on Twitter @AndraStefanoni.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • State audit of Joplin School District begins

    Staff members from the state auditor’s office have begun their audit of the Joplin School District, Superintendent C.J. Huff said Monday. They are expected to be in the district four days per week for the next five to six months, or perhaps longer, until the audit is complete, Huff said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Burglary conviction draws shock prison time

    A Joplin man who received 120 days of shock incarceration time Friday in a drunken-driving case in Jasper County Circuit Court was assessed a concurrent sentence Monday in a burglary case.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Family gatherings mirror circle of life

    The annual family gathering is getting bigger. There tends to be an ebb and a flow to most family gatherings. When you’re a kid, and especially if you’re a kid from a large Catholic family, the gatherings seem to be huge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • 071714 Jasper Cty Dispatch1_72.jpg Area communities, Jasper County work to improve communications

    The first law enforcement officer to respond to a fatal shooting last November at Northpark Mall was from the Duquesne Police Department — not Joplin. Joplin police Chief Jason Burns said he wasn’t bothered by that. “We dispatch for them, and they had an officer close who could get there faster,” he said. “And getting help to people as quickly as possible is more important than jurisdictions.”

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • New and old TIF districts on agenda for Joplin council

    Another tax increment financing district is being proposed for Joplin, this one along South Main Street. The area is close to the new Mercy Hospital Joplin that is set to open next year. RKS Development is seeking authorization from the Joplin City Council when it meets Monday night to prepare a request to establish a TIF district.

    July 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Family grows by one — a black Lab named Raven

    If you haven’t experienced the feeling of a tiny puppy in your lap at the end of a perfect July Saturday — hammock time, s’mores, leisurely walks, you know the kind — I highly recommend it. It is pure joy.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Car show, sidewalk sale and more scheduled for weekend in Carthage

    All roads leading to Carthage should be packed this weekend as numerous events geared toward entertainment, cultural pursuits and bargain hunting are expected to pull in large crowds.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Hobby Lobby lawyer to speak at watermelon feed

    Josh Hawley, who helped represent Hobby Lobby in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act, has been added to the list of speakers for Thursday’s annual watermelon feed sponsored by Newton County Republicans.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter